Melinda Tidwell

My work begins with the formal aspects of design and the balance of visual elements in composition. Using parts from old books, I focus on the juxtaposition and coherence of color, pattern, placement and size. My background in mathematics, computer graphics, and design has lead to a certain comfort with geometric arrangements. But this rational foundation quickly gives way to what is not rational: the way colors activate each other, how size and position muddle or enhance visual unity, the simple grace of worn and tattered surfaces.

I find discarded books a particularly rich collage material, both for their physical properties and the context they come from. I love the foxed pages, how covers fade and fray, and the paperbacks grow scored with folds. But then there are the components of language: typography, words, sentences, diagrams, pictures that bring meaning with them. Cut away from their original context, they operate as texture and shape, and also as a kind of code, or pieces of memory. The abstraction of this information into bits of non-sense, hopes to tease the viewer into that wilder land of free association and one’s own imagination. This peculiar sensation of a world slightly askew, is something I enjoy.

Melinda teaches workshops, check her website for schedule and more of work.